41 Cleaning Basics It’s About Time You Learned

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Dust trimming, light fixtures, and furniture before working on your floors

This telescoping duster will get the job done in no time flat. It comes with three different heads and you can pop the microfiber one right in the wash!

Promising review: “Why didn’t I buy this years ago? Now instead of risking life and limb by climbing up on things to deal with dust and cobwebs I can safely stand on the floor and reach it all. It did a great job on my ceiling fan and the way up high window that seems to be a spider sanctuary. Very light-weight, but sturdy this duster does a great job. If you have high ceilings you need this duster.” — Ed Swayback

flickr: sitkaprojects / Amazon

Keep your baseboards dust-free by rubbing a dryer sheet along them

Check out the tip at The Krazy Coupon Lady.

Promising review: “I also use it to dust furniture and baseboards, so repels dust collection. It has great scent, house smells fresh. So multiple uses.” — Deanna Courter


Remove every single pet hair from your couch, carpet, and more with this pet hair remover

The ChomChom roller has over 90,000 five-star reviews.

Promising review: “Where has this been all my cat-loving life? Sticky rollers work fine for clothes but this is the only product that has ever COMPLETELY removed all the cat hair from my bed. I have a long-haired 20-pound. tabby and if you run your hands up his back a few times and fling the hair everywhere, it looks like it’s snowing – he never stops shedding no matter what I do. After using the ChomChom, I can put on a black dress and roll around on my bed and not get a single hair on me. It’s absolutely amazing. Everyone is getting one for Christmas, even if they don’t have a pet. I don’t care, it’s THAT good.” — Stephanie

And knock out pet stains with a carpet spot remover

It also works on upholstery, woodwork, and even walls.

Promising review: “This is by far THE BEST carpet cleaner out there!! I love this product! Do you have the following on your carpet…Old stains? Ketchup? Ice cream? Pet potty, marker, weird odd stains that shouldn’t be there but your kids deny they did it… This is your product! I was desperate to get the stains out from the messy kids. I didn’t spray it, I poured this on the stain enough to get it super wet. Walked away for about three to five minutes to soak on the old stains and scrubbed it with a hard bristle brush. And boom, no more stains!!!!!! Seriously. I’m buying in bulk. LOVE this stuff. Product arrived quickly and brand new.” — Sandra McDade


Wash and dry your pillows, duvet, towels, and clothes without ruining their perfect fluffiness

These “dryer buddies” will poke and prod your linens into incredible softness.

Promising review: “I use dryer balls to keep my sheets and clothes from clumping together during the drying cycle. They help keep air flowing between the items when drying.Also, if you are drying or fluffing lighter items (such as pillow cases or linen items) without these balls in the dryer…the item just rolls around in one place by itself. These balls keep give the lighter item weight so that it moves around the dryer more.” — Mom of Great Kids


Sanitize your dishwasher by running it with a liquid cleaner and disinfectant

Just pour in your dishwasher and run it at the hottest setting. Voila! All clean with zero scrubbing needed.

Promising review: “Oh my, I can’t believe how this worked! I haven’t used my dishwasher in years because of stubborn hard water stains, it just didn’t get my dishes clean. I was so tired of washing the dishes by hand when I did have a dishwasher. Well, I used this once in my dishwasher and when I opened it up afterwards I could not believe my eyes, the dishwasher was sparkly clean!!! Amazing! I’ve been using my dishwasher all week and am so happy about that. I plan to keep this in stock now and will use it monthly to keep it clean and shiny, yay! Thank you to the makers of this terrific product, please don’t ever stop making it.” — Yuvonne Moore

Yi Yang / BuzzFeed

Spray the toughest stains with Puracy’s enzyme-based spot remover

You can use it on clothes, car seats, carpets, bedding, and more.

Promising review: “Look no further than here for a stain remover that ACTUALLY works! I used this on baby blowout stains that I tried to wash out already and it WORKED!!! There has yet to be a stain that this stuff couldn’t knock out, a godsend for moms. I spray it right onto diaper explosions that leaked onto clothes without any prep work, toss it in the washer with a start time delay (gives it time to soak into the fabric) and it comes out perfect! I trust this stuff so much I don’t even check it before putting it in the dryer anymore! Get this and never worry about stains again!” — Taralyn R.

Family Handyman

Get pollen, cobwebs, and other detritus off your window screens by passing a lint roller over it

Lint rollers are really just magical neatening tools in general — try them on your lampshades too.

Take a peek at all the details at Family Handyman.


Dust your blinds, air-conditioner vent, and more with a three-part microfiber wand

You can also DIY your own with a set of tongs and a microfiber cloth — check out the tutorial here.

Promising review:
“I can’t give this enough stars! You see these gimmicky type things and wonder if they work. This does, and is perfect in every way. Aside from my own house, I clean for others, and this has easily cut my blind cleaning time in half. Which is perfect for such a tedious job. It gets to the edge of wide blinds. When you’re done, just throw them in the laundry. Worth every penny and then some.” — AM Kipp


Really, microfiber cleaning cloths are your best friends when it comes to streak-free cleaning

It comes with two kinds of cloths (four each) — clean the glass with a damp green cloth, then follow up with the dry blue cloth.

Promising review: “I couldn’t get my windows clean using Windex and newsprint and a lot of elbow grease. There were always streaks and dirt left behind. Enter these things. One quick cleaning, and I do mean quick, and my windows are now cleaner than any windows I’ve ever cleaned. It’s simply amazing. We were all standing around in utter shock and delight before running around trying the cloths on other stuff: the TV, the picture glass. I know it sounds corny, but I couldn’t wait to get up this morning, because I woke up in the middle of the night excitedly thinking about trying it on the car today. Yeah, I know….I have an exciting life, right? Buy these now! I wish I’d had them all along. They are truly, truly amazing.” — Amazon Customer

Shine up your wood furniture by rubbing in a Feed-N-Wax wood conditioner

All you have to do is apply with a cloth, wait 20 minutes and wipe off the excess.

Promising review: “OMG! This is the most AMAZING product! We inherited some antique furniture from the ’30s that had been in storage forever… it was dry and dirty and not much to look at. I used this product on it and the oak wood literally came alive, showing the beautiful grain and texture of the wood. I have since used it on my oak kitchen cabinets and they look AMAZING! I will never use anything else other than this product on my wood surfaces! No greasy feel… fantastic smell!” — Tiffany Sadowski

Humble Suds / Etsy

And maintain both wood and leather furniture (and other leather goods) with a cleaning balm

Humble Suds is a women-owned Etsy shop specializing in plant-based cleaning products based in Denver, Colorado.

Promising review: “It arrive in a timely manner and the product works well. It was easy to use and had a nice smell. My leather chairs looked pretty good afterwards.” — Marina Sprinkler

Try a toothbrush-like OXO brush duo with an ergonomic grip and stiff bristles

Promising review: “This set is the best friend of those who hate cleaning bathroom fixtures. Instead of scrubbing and scraping, you can give a few comfortable whisks with one of these brushes and the job is done. The brushes are particularly good at quick-cleaning the back of the faucets where you normally can’t see what you are doing. Also good at keeping the silver drain rings shiny. Couldn’t be happier with this set. Recommend it highly.” — Rodger

Clean your toilet without having to keep a gross toilet brush in your bathroom

I use these myself and they get the JOB DONE.

Promising review: “You ever look at your toilet brush in disgust and resentment? How’s a dirty used up brush sitting in your throne room? You clean your bathroom but then you put that sucker down in its place and it’s just like, mocking you. It’s never truly immaculate. Never knowing true cleanliness. Fear no more. Now you can shine the porcelain throne and not have to worry about a used up toilet brush mocking your clean sparkling bathroom. Gone are the days of breathing in dirty poop particles from the reusable potty cleaning brush thingy. Clorox Toilet Wand is the answer to your prayers if you want an easy, deep cleaning, toss-away-after-you’re-done type contraption for that porcelain throne of yours. Fast, cheap, and easy. Just like…. How we like to clean.” — Juliana

Junipserseed Mercantile / Etsy

Or try these popular toilet cleaning bombs

The most delightful part? They’re called “Johnny Drops”. Juniperseed Mercantile is a woman-owned Etsy shop making not only home cleaning products, but also skincare, baby care, and paper-free items so you can cut down on waste.

Promising review: “This product is amazing! Fifteen minutes later and my toilet is looking brand-new with minimal effort. I would recommend this to everyone!” —shelby rieth

If it’s already too late for some of those stains, use a special pumice stick

Promising review: “I did not wake up this morning thinking I was going to write a review on toilet bowl cleaner. But the Pumie is JUST THAT AWESOME! The area I live in has super-hard water. I have spent weeks and used probably $50 worth of various cleaners in an attempt to remove my toilet bowl ring with pretty much no results. Less than 10 minutes with the Pumie and my toilet looks as sparkling clean as the day I installed it! I have uploaded pictures which speak for themselves. Don’t hesitate, just buy yourself a Pumie! You won’t be disappointed!” — Suzy


A set of three scrubbing attachments you can simply add to any power drill

Available in six different varieties.

Promising review: “I bought this brush a long time ago and it sat unused. Last week, I finally pulled it out to clean the floor of a very dirty fiberglass bathtub. What a great little tool! A job that easily would have taken me a half hour with a regular brush and Comet, took about five minutes and with no smelly harsh chemicals. I am really kicking myself for not trying it months ago. Now, I’m planning to buy one for each of my kids for Christmas.” — xxxxx111000


Keep your shower clean and mildew-free by spraying a no-wipe cleaner

Best invention ever? Possibly.

Promising review: “This stuff is excellent. It performs as promised, it has a very nice scent, no fumes, and leaves shower clean with no scrubbing actually necessary. It is very easy to apply and rinse off. It is designed very well, with squirting spout separate from the large container and attached by a longish tube, so you don’t have to hold the heavy container while applying the product. I’ve been using it for quite a while now, and I love it. I highly recommend it.” —Stephanie Martin


Try a drain snake with over 4,000 micro hooks and a slim design to shimmy down any drain

Real talk: After learning about this, I ordered two and used it on my bathroom sink and shower. So gross, so effective.

Promising review: “Sorry the pic is sooo gross, but I just wanted to show how well this little gadget did the job. Our shower drain was starting to get a musty smell and from previous experience we could tell it was probably from hair being stuck in there (no idea it would be that much). We could have removed the screws that hold down the drain cover and maybe been able to do the job by hand, but honestly, why would I? This product was SUPER easy to use and did the job in a matter of a few minutes without having to touch any yucky stuff and the labor. The bristles on the one end, not only trap the hair on, but secure it well enough that nothing falls off when pulling it out. I would highly recommend it!!!” — Stef


Or just buy a TubShroom

It’s available in six colors.

Promising review: “Perfect product. Can’t say enough good things about this. I have a family of four and would frequently have to snake our shower drain. It appears I won’t be having that problem ever again. I even give my dog baths and this collects the hair. It does not seem to slow the flow of water down the drain significantly. I’m very impressed having been using around a month. You don’t know how much hair you wash down your drain until you use this!” —Aaron Morlock

Keep Bar Keeper’s Friend Soft Cleanser in your house

Promising review: “I don’t know what is in this stuff but I’m pretty sure it’s magic! We’ve had a stain in our bathroom sink from before we moved into our house two and a half years ago. I’ve tried so many different things to get rid of it (bleach, Ajax, Magic Eraser, pumice stone, etc.) and nothing worked. Within seconds of squirting some of this barkeepers friend on it the stain was gone! I’m now cleaning pretty much everything in my house with it.” — J L

Or keep an all-in-one cleaning concentrate you can dilute and use on just about everything

Puracy is a Texas-based, family-owned small business specializing in plant-based, and hypoallergenic home products.

Promising review:
“I have been using Puracy products since I bought a bottle of body wash for my kids last year. It opened my eyes to a high quality, highly effective, well priced, awesome smelling, natural, new (to me) brand! I am slowly switching my products over to anything that is available, made by Puracy. I had gotten the green tea and lime all purpose cleaner and decided to purchase the lemongrass this time. I love it so much!! I use it for every application in the house. It has a subtle and natural scent that I really appreciate. The cleaner lightly foams when used for brisk scrubbing and I feel that it helps achieve a super efficient clean. I don’t have time to make cleaners like I used to, so this product is the perfect replacement. It saves me a lot of time, money and it works much better than anything I used to make myself. I love that this is a family owned company as well, that is a huge plus in my eyes!” — Ashley Beauchesne


Touch up messes or everyday dust with a super-lightweight vacuum

It’s only 4 POUNDS, swivels easily, and has an 18-foot power cord for easy access without unplugging and re-plugging all the time. And it comes with a crevice tool for hard-to-reach areas.

Promising review: “We replaced a Dyson cordless stick vac with this one. It works great! Very lightweight to maneuver, 18′ cord allows for a long reach. This vac is easy to clean out the chamber. It has great sucking power. I actually like it better than the old Dyson and the price is great!” — Choose Joy

If you have pets, opt for a vacuum that was designed with them in mind

Promising review: “BEST VACUUM I’VE EVER BOUGHT! I moved into a brand new apartment complex that was just built and after being there for a week with three cats I decided to vacuum the carpet and rugs. TO SAY MY JAW DROPPED IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT. The suction without a doubt is the best one I’ve ever had (including multiple Dysons). It is light weight to push and going from carpet to wood floors is amazing. The attachments make vacuuming my couch so easy to where I’m done in under five minutes!!! BUY THIS VACUUM TODAY!!!” — Skylar Blick


If you can’t seem to keep up with the dust and messes, let a robot vacuum do the work for you

Your new robot BFF has an infrared sensor to avoid obstacles in its bath and drop-sensing technology so it doesn’t fall down steps. It comes with a remote control, charging base (it automatically recharges so it’s always ready to clean), AC power adapter, cleaning tool, an extra set of high-performance filters, four side brushes, and five cable ties.

Promising review:I’ve had my Eufy for one month and it has changed my life. My home has an open floor plan on the main level it’s all hardwood floors. That is where I’ve set up the Eufy with a schedule to automatically begin vacuuming my house at 6:30am every day! That’s right, I don’t have to do anything, it just starts vacuuming all on its own at 6:30am. Our bedrooms are upstairs and we pretty much wake up between 6:30-7:00am anyway. The eufy is quiet. We can barely hear it from upstairs. I only hear 1 beep, and that’s when it turns on. By 8 a.m. to 8:15 a.m,-ish the Eufy finishes and docks itself back in the charging station. Every evening I empty the container of dirt, fuzz, pebbles, feathers from pillows, beads, pasta, pet hair, and whatever other stuff it sucks up. With how clean my floors already look from the daily cleaning work the Eufy is doing, I’m amazed everyday when I open the container to find bunch of gross stuff it has managed to discover and vacuum up. Once every week or so I’ve been cleaning the filters by just banging them out against the sink until all the dust is off of them. Really, I feel like this is the best purchase I’ve made all year and I have bought some cool stuff, but nothing as cool as this. To think, I’ve been a loyal Dyson customer for 12 years but the key to getting a clean home is 2 parts (1) owning a powerful vacuum. (2) doing the chore of pushing it around. I’ve found that pushing around the vacuum isn’t something I was good at remembering to do each week, or even every two weeks and so this eufy is just an unbelievable product because now I don’t have to remember. It has never gotten stuck. It has never been a nuisance. It has never failed at docking itself in the charging station. I don’t have to do anything to have clean floors in my house any longer except emptying out the container. That takes 30 seconds. Truly, our Eufy is life changing. I highly, highly recommend this product.” — Amazon Customer

Keep your vacuum efficient as heck by cleaning the bristles with a seam ripper

Promising review: “I didn’t buy this for the typical reason. I needed this because of all of the hair that gets wrapped around the brush roller on my vacuum which renders it useless. Before, I had to remove the roller itself from the vacuum, then cut the hair out with scissors, which aggravated me to no end. Now, I can just run the seam ripper down the side of the roller while everything is intact. So. Much. Faster! 😀” — JustSoYouKnow

You also can’t go wrong with a bottle of almond-scented Method hardwood floor cleaner

Promising review: “I own a house-cleaning business so I am always looking for the best products. I’ve tried many products (including non-green products in my own home) and this is my absolute favorite. Many wood floor cleaners leave a film and can be sticky, but not this. Just squirt and mop. I’ve tried the other Method scents and they work great, but the almond is my favorite. My clients always rave about the scent and often ask what I use and where to get it. Absolutely love this!” —
Jamie Parsons

Buy Glisten garbage disposal tabs to foam out the built-up gunk and bad odors

Promising review: “This stuff really cleans my sink and disposal of the foul odor that sometimes develops. I’ve tried everything to get rid of the smell from the garbage disposal: Vinegar, bleach, ice, various other products, baking soda, baking soda with vinegar, boiling water..nothing seemed to get rid of the smell for long, but this stuff does. I like it so much that I ordered it on line because I couldn’t find it again at the grocery store.” —Carol L. Hill


Remove every single crumb lodged in your keyboard by blasting it with canned air

Promising review: “Good deal. I always struggle with keeping my laptop keyboard clean and my laptop tends to get dusty frequently. This product is so great at cleaning it!!!! Never thought I’d ever need this, but I think it’s an essential item to keep at my desk.” — Amazon Customer

Clean the speakers of your AirPods with a unique cleaning putty

Did YOU know that wax can block the pairing sensors? Neither did I. FYI, these work great on any hard-to-clean small spaces.

Promising review: “Great stuff that absolutely works! I had been using plugin headphones because my old iPhone 6S was getting old and I was having difficulty hearing from the speakers. I heard about this from a friend and it’s like I have a new phone! Worked immediately. Sound and clarity like before. I can’t believe how easy it was to use and the great difference it makes. Thanks!” — Bridget S


Try a Phone Soap UV sanitizer you can just toss your phone in

Promising review: “Actually I did a lot of research on this type of sterilization of phones before I bought this. Everything I found by scientists or electronics reviewers said that it does in fact kill all those gross germs that are ALL OVER our phones. You can’t see it—the phone doesn’t look any different when you take it out, but I’ll trust the experts who say this light is working. It makes me feel better after I clean it so I guess that’s a win.” — SCole


Easily (and kind of fun-ly!) clean your vents with a cleaning putty

Promising review:If you like it not just clean but super clean, get this. I got this to detail my car. There are a lot of corners inside the car that are hard to clean. This is fun and definitely will give you a lot of satisfaction after you are done. You cannot wash this so instead of using the whole pod, I just pinch and use part of it. I did not put the used one back since I do not want to contaminate the pure clean ones. I used the portion till it is too dirty and then I just threw it away. It will clean the tiniest place for you. Very satisfying.” — Lovelearn

And knock out lingering car smells with a foaming carpet shampoo

It’s citrus-scented, so after it FOAMS AWAY deep-set stains, you’ll be left with a refreshing scent.

Promising review: “This stuff is ABSOLUTELY AWESOME! I posted before-and-after photos (above) for you to see for yourself! My 1996 Toyota Camry is 23 years old — this is the original carpet! It took me exactly three hours to clean this carpet and I will tell you this: IT WAS WORTH IT!” — treylee

Shine up your stainless steel with a can of Pledge

Stainless steel cleaners can be expensive — try this instead! Learn more about this trick at A Shade of Teal.

Promising review: “I have used a lot of different wipes and sprays for my stainless appliances. It is so easy to use, you do need to wipe and then polish product with a smooth cloth, but I never had to polish (buff) out as vigorously just a quick wipe. Love, love, love this product.” —Nancy K

Or try a plant-based stainless steel cleaner

I recommended this to my mom to use on her stainless steel (she’s a bit of a neat freak and HATES streaks) and she loves it.

Promising review: “If you have a Subzero fridge, you know the struggle is real when it comes to keeping it clean. It’s a different type of stainless steel and shows all product residue. Then I found this stuff. Oh wow! A few seconds of polishing and it looks amazing!! it has never looked this good, this shiny, and this clean! Best product ever!” — Katerina


Let your dish sponges drain in an unobtrusive basket that attaches right to your sink

Promising review: “We were sick of our sponge falling into the kitchen sink, so we bought this. Thinking it would just keep the sponge out of our way, we installed it and found that the sponge dries between uses and last a lot longer. No more wet sponges falling into the sink! Be sure to clean the surface very well before applying the suction cups. Ours has been up for weeks and has not even shifted yet. A very good product.” — Paul R.

And scrub your makeup brushes up with a plant-based, paraben-free shampoo

Promising review: “This is the best brush shampoo I’ve ever used. I’ve used brush shampoos from high-end/luxury lines, too, and they did not work as well as this. First and most importantly for me, there is no scent! I absolutely hate when companies put heavy perfume in products that end up touching or going near the face. When washing brushes with shampoo that is heavily perfumed, that just ends up irritating my sinuses whenever I’m using the brushes to apply makeup. So awful. This is not like that at all, so I can use my makeup brushes without having sinus/allergy trouble. It cleans extremely well! No more going over and over again like with using other makeup brush shampoos. A little goes a long way, too, so it is extremely economical. The value is awesome. I highly recommend this brush shampoo and will continue purchasing it.” — L.L.


Get your water bottle crazy clean with these little scrubbing beans

They fit through narrow mouth openings, so even the hardest-to-clean containers will become easy.

Promising review: “I was a little skeptical, but these little beans are miracle workers. I’ve got shining metal travel mugs now instead of travel mugs with tea stains baked on the bottom. Just toss them in and give them a shake and you’ll have clean mugs too!” — M. Bolte

And deep clean that borderline-foul travel mug you can’t bear to look into

Promising review: “I seriously can’t believe how well these little tablets work. I had the most disgusting HydroFlask coffee mug — I tried everything. Bottle brush, different kinds of soap, vinegar, EVERYTHING, and there was still a seemingly impenetrable layer of black sludge inside. It grossed me out so much that I bought ANOTHER HydroFlask to replace it. Now eventually they both got black inside, so I tried these little magic tablets. I let a tablet sit in each of my mugs for an hour or two, and the black sludge rinsed out COMPLETELY, without even scrubbing. They look brand new. What a magical product. No weird smell or taste afterward, either. I liked it so much I used it on another HydroFlask I use primarily to hold my Bloody Mary mix in the fridge. I couldn’t put anything else in it because it would always taste like spicy tomato juice. Bottle Bright to the rescue! No residual smell or taste anymore. AMAZING AMAZING AMAZING.” — Amazon Customer

Break out a Cerama-Bryte cooktop cleaning kit

Promising review: “Never give up, like the Little Engine that could. I love my glass top stove, but cleaning it is not as easy as just wiping it down. If you have one, you know how it is when something boils over or spills. This bakes whatever hits the glass and leaves those frustrating scorch marks. No matter how hard I scrubbed, I could never get the film off. I have tried every cleaning product, as well every home remedy suggestion and it never removes the marks. I came across this product on Amazon and after reading the reviews, thought, ‘Why not?’ Ah, all is good in the world after finding this. I put a quarter-size dot of Cerama Bryte, scrubbed it with a light scratch pad, and rainbows and unicorns came dancing. Ah, so shiny. I think I’ve invested 20+ labor hours trying to clean the stove top, and just gave up. With this product, it took me five minutes. If you have the same issue, get this stuff — it’s incredible. 5 stars+++” — Implied Queens

Creative Type Store / Etsy

Follow an easy, printable cleaning checklist so you can tackle one room every day

Creative Type Store is a woman-owned, Canada-based Etsy shop making all your printable dreams come true, including chore charts, meal plans, and even a plant care tracker for all you not-so-green thumbs (me, looking in the mirror).